It looks as if Giblert… sorry Gilbert Melendez will finally be returning to the octagon, and as a featherweight. That’s according to former Fox Sports and current UFC.com scribe Damon Martin, who let word slip via Twitter today. Opposite Melendez in the cage will be the durable Jeremy Stephens. The fight is expected to take place at September’s UFC 215 card.
BREAKING: Jeremy Stephens vs. Gilbert Melendez at featherweight in the works for UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Sept 9. #UFC
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) July 3, 2017
Melendez (22–6), a former Strikeforce lightweight champion who was considered a shoo-in to take gold in the UFC’s 155lb weight class, has suffered three straight losses dating back to December 2014. That stretch began with a title fight loss to Anthony Pettis, and was followed by decision losses to Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza.
By the time “El Nino” returns to action, he’ll have been away from the sport for over a year.
Jeremy Stephens (25–14), meanwhile, has lost two straight, most recently a split decision to Renato Moicano at UFC on Fox 24. At least people remember who the fook he is. Stephens made his UFC debut nearly a decade ago at UFC 76 in September 2007, so it will be quite the anniversary celebration if he can defeat Melendez.
UFC 215 takes place September 9 at the Rogers Place arena in Edmonton, Alberta. No headliner has been announced for the card, though a heavyweight showdown between Junior dos Santos and Francis Ngannou has been booked for the event.